Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Simple physics analogy question (circuits)

  1. May 7, 2006 #1


    User Avatar

    would the positive end of a battery be the top or bottom of a water slide?

    my guess is bottom because electrons flow from negative to positive. so that would be from top (-) to bottom (+) of a slide.

    is that accurate logic?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    The analogy is used to indicate that a potential difference is needed to drive the electic charge through a circuit. If you consider the flow of electrons through the circuit (as opposed to conventional current flow), then the negative terminal corresponds to the top of the slide - that is where the electrons are delivered into the circuit by the battery. They continue from there through the circuit (the slanted part of the slide where the electrons does some useful work) and arrive at the bottom of the slide (the positive terminal of the battery). Work is then done inside of the battery (going up the ladder) to transfer the electrons again to the top of the slide. So yes, you are right.
    Last edited: May 8, 2006
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook